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A new dog left a big impression Wednesday in Renville County after he helped seize more than $125,000 worth of contraband in a drug bust.

Maverick, a new addition to the K9 unit of the Renville County Sheriff Office, spent his first day on the job helping deputies execute a search warrant in the city of Renville, sniffing out about a pound of cocaine.

In all, deputies recovered 500 grams of cocaine, 29 pounds of marijuana, over 200 grams of marijuana wax and more than $35,000. The drugs had an estimated street value of $125,000. One person was taken into custody.

"What a great first day at work for the new K9," Sheriff Scott Hable said. "We're fond of our K9 program, and we're hopeful that [Maverick] continues to have a successful career."

The German shepherd was shipped from Poland to Renville County this year after his predecessor, Duke, retired in May. The sheriff's canines typically work up to eight years before they're retired.

Maverick, whose name was picked through a poll of residents from nearby nursing and assisted living facilities, could fill a bevy of policing roles in the next few years. He and his handler, Deputy Luke Jacques, recently finished 14 weeks of training at the McDonough K9 training facility in Anoka, learning obedience, drug detection, patrol work and how to track people.

But there's more to the specially trained police dogs than just seizing drugs. Hable said policing is a challenge when a small number of officers cover a large rural area like Renville County, about 100 miles west of Minneapolis. He said K9s like Maverick help police connect with residents at events and presentations, building strong community relationships.

"We can't see or hear or understand everything that goes on. So we have to rely on the eyes and ears of the public to know what's happening," Hable said. "We want our residents to be comfortable calling us and confident that our RCSO staff has the training, experience, tools and resources to keep them safe."

But he emphasized that it takes a village to do police work correctly.

"The K9 is a valuable tool that really bolsters the excellent work of our deputies, officers and drug task force agents," Hable said. "Each of these components of policing is good on their own, but together they become great."